“Those who do not live to serve, do not serves to live”. This is what Pope Francis stressed in his homily during the mass celebrated in St Peter’s Cathedral to intercede for the bishops and cardinals who passed away last year. To commemorate them, has explained Bergoglio, means to pray for them, so they can find in God full joy in the communion of the saints, but also to renew the choice which was their vocation of ministers, that is, being “servants”. “Those who serve and donate, are losers in the eyes of the world. Actually, as they lose their life, they find it again. Because life which deprives itself of itself, losing themselves in love, imitates Christ: defeats death and gives life to the world – has said Francesco -. Those who serve, save. On the contrary, those who do not live to serve, do not serves to live”.
“God’s style” is “saving us while annulling Himself”, and we should not expect a “triumphant divine victory”. All this “has a lot to teach us”: God’s love “does not cry out and does not impose itself, but perseveres with confidence and patience”. “Jesus – has pointed out Pope Bergoglio – has not changed things with words, but with facts, not in appearance, but in substance, not on the surface, but to the root”. “This style of God who saves us serving us and annihilating Himself, has much to teach us. We are likely to expect a triumphant divine victory; but Jesus shows us a very humble victory. Crucified, he allows evil and death to persecute him while continuing to love. For us, it is difficult to accept this reality. It is a mystery, but the secret of this mystery, this extraordinary humbleness lies in the power of love”.
“In Jesus’ Passover – commented the Pontiff – we see both death and remedy to death, and this is possible thanks to the great love with which God has loved us, thanks to the humble love which demeans itself, thanks to the service which knows the condition of a servant. So Jesus has not only removed evil, but has transformed it into good. He has not changed things with words, but with facts; not in appearance, but in substance; not on the surface, but to the root. He has transformed the cross into a bridge towards life”. “We too – argued Pope Francis – can win with Him, if we choose helpful and humble love, which remains victorious for eternity. This love that does not cry out nor imposes itself, but perseveres confidently and patiently, because – as the Book of Lamentations has reminded us – it is fine to ‘wait in silence for the salvation of the Lord'”.
“While we offer this mass to our dear brothers, cardinals and bishops, let us ask – has suggested Francesco – for us what the apostle Paul exhorts us to: direct our thought towards the things above, not those on earth; to the love of God and of the neighbor, rather than to our needs”. “The Lord asks it from us, He who washed the feet of his closest disciples as a servant, so we would follow his example”, has continued the Pope. “God has served us first. The ministry of Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served, who can only be a Pastor ready to give his life for the sheep.
“God loved the world so much” says Jesus. According to the Pope, “this is a concrete love, so real that he took upon himself our death. For the sake of our salvation, he reached us where we ended up separating ourselves from God-the-giver-of-life: death, in a sepulcher with no way out. This is how the Son of God humbled himself, bowing in front of us as a servant to undertake everything that is ours, up to opening the doors of life for us”.